What is special about Mosin Nagant from 1939

MG 120 (r) - The light machine gun - Russian model Degtjarjow DP 28

Written by Helmut Bindl on.

The light MG Degjarjow DP 1928 was introduced into the Soviet army in 1928. It is a firing weapon equipped with a support flap lock. It is fed from a plate magazine with a capacity of 47 cartridges of caliber 7.62 x 54R (7.62 Nagant). The weapon only shoots continuous fire. Versions for aircraft armament and as tank machine guns with increased magazine capacity of 63 cartridges were introduced from 1930. The Panzer MG could be converted for infantry use.

These weapons were used as booty weapons during the Second World War by the German Wehrmacht in their original caliber and modified for the German cartridge. The number of items captured was so great that, as for other Russian weapons, the corresponding regulation was issued.

We find the first information in the regulation D 50/2 "Data sheets of foreign devices", booklet 2 machine guns:

Unfortunately, even in this regulation there is no indication of any marking of these weapons as German booty. This once again confirms the assumption that there was no legal marking of captured weapons as German property between 1939 and 1945. An exception are those weapons that have been modified for German cartridges. For this we read the following instruction in the "Heerestechnischen Verordnungsblatt" from 1944.

Two of these modified weapons are in the inventory of the WTS. They have been converted to the German caliber 8 x 57 IS in different ways. This makes them extremely rare. In contrast to the prey weapons used in the original caliber, these two weapons are provided with unambiguous identification marks corresponding to the regulation sheet. An official instruction as to which components had to be changed or replaced is not yet known. But based on the two weapons at hand, the changes can be traced, as far as externally visible. It can therefore be stated that there were at least two different methods of adaptation. Due to the individually different conversion measures, the assumption arises that one weapon was converted in a gunsmith's workshop behind the front and the other, on the other hand, was converted to the German cartridge in the factory.

Changes had to be made to the barrel, bolt and magazine assemblies. Due to the similar ballistics of the German and Russian cartridges, the sights could be retained unchanged. The big differences between the ammunition lie in the length of the case, thus also in the overall length and the larger cartridge base of the Russian rim cartridge. These differences necessitate changes to the closure with regard to the push plate and the extractor. The barrel with cartridge chamber had to be adapted to the German cartridge. The plate magazine could also be adapted to the almost five millimeter longer cartridge. Marking these modified magazines with "SS" is likely. Unfortunately there are no longer any suitable magazines for either weapon.

Description of the weapons
The first glance at the condition shows that this MG was in use. The weapon is numbered in all parts. The magazine and the bipod are missing.

The person who converted this weapon did not follow the instructions exactly with regard to the marking and hit two different sized stamps for marking. Possibly the idea of ​​the term "heavy pointed bullet" guided him.

The change in the bottom of the bolt on the bolt head was made by a 2 mm deep milling in the diameter of the bottom of the German cartridge. A new extractor with a longer extractor claw was installed. The changes can be seen clearly in the two images.

The most complex part of the change concerns the cartridge chamber. A special approach was taken with this weapon. In order to be able to use the abundant barrels, the existing chamber was drilled out and a new chamber was screwed in for the S cartridge. The extent to which the transition cone and the train / field profile have been adjusted could not yet be checked for reasons of time and personnel. However, it can be assumed that the transition cone was lengthened in order to make it easier for the bullet to deform in the narrower barrel. Similarly, during the First World War in Austria, captured Mosin-Nagant rifles were seduced into the Austrian M 93 cartridge.

Although this type of use resulted in significantly higher barrel wear, otherwise the weapons could only have been adapted in the appropriate weapons factories, because there were certainly no running benches available in the weapons workshops behind the front.

The last thread turn can be seen very well in this shot.

After the change, this weapon was properly re-fired and a bullet mark was struck on the barrel and the housing.

The other MG 120 (r) was factory revised and received a new barrel in caliber 8 x 57 IS. This barrel bears the manufacturer code "dfb" and under it "cz". The code "dfb" stands for the Gustloff works in Suhl. I have not yet been able to clarify the meaning of the "cz". The barrel and the housing have neither a WaA approval nor a proof stamp.

The new barrel with a view of the cartridge chamber:

The weapon was completely redesigned and re-blued, but it probably didn't make it to the front. Here the labeling corresponds to the requirements of the ordinance sheet.

The extractor is missing from the breech. This could have been interrupted when an attempt was made to load a Nagant cartridge.

The shape of the feeder for the longer German cartridge had to be changed on the plate magazine. An unchanged original magazine is shown. Magazine emptied. You can see the cartridge-shaped feeder.

Here with a Nagant cartridge and a German cartridge for comparison:

Loot collection point, on the left a DP 28:

Anti-aircraft weapon on makeshift tripod.

The barrel and magazine protrude above the cover.

Here is a tank MG DT 29 in ground combat version:

Excerpt from the picture above: